Who Is Sofia Falcone? A Guide To The New Character In The Batman's Penguin Spin-Off Series

This post contains spoilers for "The Batman."

While Matt Reeves' "The Batman" was pretty much a triumph on the whole, it's not hard to deny that Colin Firth's Penguin was a decisive highlight. The big wigs at Warner Bros. must have thought so too, as the character will soon be heading up his very own series on HBO Max. The spin-off will apparently take place just a week after the events of "The Batman," which ended with the death of mafia don Carmine Falcone. "The Penguin" will likely address the power vacuum that Falcone's death leaves behind in Gotham, and follow Oswald Cobblepot's rise through the ranks of Gotham's underworld in order to take that power for himself.

Farrell himself has cited the HBO prison drama "Oz" as a point of inspiration for "The Penguin." That series followed the shifting tides in a fictional men's prison — fittingly named the Oswald State Correctional Facility — as inmates and officers battled for authority. It's a compelling concept, especially knowing that a kooky villain or two might also be joining the fray. And with a recent addition to the series' cast, it looks like the battle for Gotham's criminal empire is going to be hard-won.

Cristin Milioti ("Made For Love," "Palm Springs") has joined "The Penguin" as Sofia Falcone, a formidable character that got her start on the pages of Batman comics. Fans of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's comics in particular will likely be very excited to hear the news, but Sofia Falcone isn't exactly a household name. So who exactly is she, and what role can we expect her to play in the "Penguin" series?

Who is Sofia Falcone?

As their shared surname suggests, Sofia Falcone is the eldest child of mob boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. She was first introduced in writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale's "The Long Halloween" as a potential successor to her father. Sofia is arguably the most competent of the Falcone siblings, but thanks to good old-fashioned misogyny, she's kept out of her father's affairs. In fact, before the events of "The Long Halloween," Sofia had been wiling her days away in Gotham Penitentiary. But when a serial killer known as Holiday starts a murder spree on — you guessed it — every holiday of the year, and starts targeting the Falcones especially, Sofia finally joins the fold as Falcone's right-hand woman.

"The Long Halloween" essentially follows the decline of Gotham's crime families and the rise of "freaks" like the Joker and Two-Face, aka Harvey Dent. Several members of the Falcone family are murdered by Holiday, and her own father is killed by Two-Face himself. Though Sofia does survive the events of the series, she suffers grave injuries and is later forced to flee Gotham.

Sofia becomes the new head of the Roman Empire in "Long Halloween" sequel "Dark Victory." Upon returning to Gotham and uniting what's left of the city's crime families, she launches an attack on Two-Face herself. At first, their conflict manifests as an extension of the war in "The Long Halloween," but eventually Sofia realizes that the "freaks" have grown in numbers, in strength, and in desperation. And, as the saying goes: if you can't beat 'em...

The war for Gotham

As the carnage mounts in her war against Two-Face, Sofia actually becomes something of a "freak" herself. As the serial killer known as The Hang Man, Sofia targets Gotham law enforcement and public officials — all of whom helped Dent in some way before he became Two-Face — and leaves messages in the form of hangman puzzles at each crime scene. She even manages to frame each death on Dent himself, all in an attempt to exact revenge for her father's death. As clever as her plan is though, Sofia ends up losing it big time, murdering members of her own family and setting Gotham on fire in order to get to Two-Face. And though she very nearly manages to defeat Two-Face once and for all, her master plan is thwarted by Batman.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a boring villain in the world of Gotham, but Sofia Falcone is still one of the most compelling. Her love for — and borderline obsession with — her father and his legacy drive her to complete and total insanity, but like the rest of Batman's rogues gallery, her descent into madness is fascinating to witness. Though her time as a villain in the Batman comics was short-lived, Sofia also played a major role in the "Gotham" series — not just as an antagonist to Gotham's good guys, but a one-time love interest as well.

From page to screen

In "Gotham," Crystal Reed ("Teen Wolf," "Swamp Thing") embodied Sofia was a snarling sophistication. The series swapped out her comic book rivalry with Two-Face for one with The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). Over the course of the fourth season, Sofia and the Penguin go to war over Gotham's criminal underworld — and in light of Milioti's casting in the "Penguin" series, it's likely the latter will be exploring a similar conflict.

Sofia's time as a villain has always been brief, so it'll be really interesting to see how the new HBO Max series handles her arc in the grand scheme. Sofia Falcone will obviously pose a huge challenge to Penguin, but if done right, she could also pop up as a major antagonist in a sequel to "The Batman." Notably, her war with Two-Face in "Dark Victory" comes with a slew of consequences, including the death of Dick Grayson's parents. If Sofia's role translates well from the small green to the big, it's possible she could even have a hand in the origins of Robin.

Of course, this is all just hopeful speculation. Sofia Falcone is a massively cool villain, and it's going to be thrilling to see her return to live action in any capacity, especially with someone like Cristin Milioti at the helm. Whatever's in store for "The Penguin," it's shaping up to be an exciting exploration of Gotham's underbelly.